In 2010-11 the scandal of undercover police made national headlines when spycops such as Mark Kennedy, and Bob Lambert were exposed infiltrated groups campaigning for social justice and to protect animals. With it came allegations of miscarriages of justice and sexual abuse of female activists, leading to an apology and compensation from the Met in 2015 for “inhuman, abusive and degrading” treatment that breached the womens’ human rights.
Public outrage at the scandals around undercover policing led to the Undercover Policing Public Inquiry. After three years, ahead of when it was scheduled to publish its final report, it has yet to begin hearing evidence from those affected. Beset by police delaying tactics, people who have had their lives turned upside down by the intrusion of state sponsored spies are still waiting for answers. We are no nearer to knowing the extent of the ongoing abuse of democracy.
On Wednesday 9 May the Public Inquiry is holding another preliminary hearing at Court 73 of the Royal Courts of Justice, The Strand, London WC2A 2LL, Starting at 10am, it will conclude by 4pm. It will cover the the recent anonymity applications by 17 former members of the Special Demonstrations Squad (SDS).
At the last hearing in March, non-state core participants (NSCPs) walked out due to the chair of the Inquiry, John Mitting, not listening to their concerns and siding with the. Their counsel Phillippa Kaufmann QC said in court:
“We are not prepared actively to participate in a process where the presence of our clients is pure window dressing, lacking all substance, lacking all meaning and which would achieve absolutely nothing other than lending this process the legitimacy that it doesn’t have and doesn’t deserve.”
Please come along and stand with the non-state core participants to support their demands that the Inquiry releases the cover names of the spies, the details of which groups were spied on and opens up the files on people who were targeted. The demonstration will begin will take place from 9am-10am outside the Royal Courts of Justice, The Strand, London WC2A 2LL.
There is a Facebook event here which you can share on social media. You can also follow events on the day on Twitter via #spycops